University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Brinkman v. Long PB-CO-0005
Docket / Court 2013-CV-032572 ( State Court )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
On October 30, 2014, two women who wished to marry each other in the state of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Colorado state court against the state. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court to declare that the prohibition of same-sex marriages violated the plaintiffs' ... read more >
On October 30, 2014, two women who wished to marry each other in the state of Colorado filed a lawsuit in Colorado state court against the state. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court to declare that the prohibition of same-sex marriages violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights, mandate that the defendants issue them a marriage license, and award them reasonable attorneys' fees and costs of suit.

The plaintiffs claimed that by denying them the ability to enter into a state-recognized marriage (as opposed to a civil union) the state of Colorado was violating the rights guaranteed to them by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution by discriminating on the basis of sex and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages that occurred out-of-state.

The case was held in Adams County District Court before Judge C. Scott Crabtree. On July 9, 2014, the court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs. The order immediately stayed the decision pending resolution of the issue on appeal. Despite the stay, several Colorado counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The case was combined with McDaniel-Miccio v. State of Colorado (PB-CO-0004 in this Clearinghouse) and appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court and on July 18, 2014, the Court ordered that Colorado clerks were stayed from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples pending resolution of the appeal.

On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitions for writ of certiorari in two cases, Herbert v. Kitchen (PB-UT-0001 in this Clearinghouse) and Smith v. Bishop (PB-OK-0001 in this Clearinghouse), in which the Tenth Circuit had held that Utah and Oklahoma's same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional. Herbert v. Kitchen, 135 S. Ct. 271 (2014); Smith v. Bishop, 135 S. Ct. 271 (2014). By declining to hear those cases, the Supreme Court let the lower court decisions stand: same-sex marriage was effectively legalized in those states. In response, the Colorado Supreme Court vacated the stay on the state district court order, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in Colorado, and dismissed the case.

Megan Dolan - 09/26/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Sexual orientatation
General
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Colorado
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are two women who are a same-sex couple who wish to have a state-recognized marriage in Colorado.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-CO-0004 : McDaniel-Miccio v. State of Colorado (State Court)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
13 -CV-32572 (State Trial Court) 06/16/2014
PB-CO-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
Complaint 10/30/2013
PB-CO-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Summary Judgment Order 07/09/2014
PB-CO-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Order of Court [Denying Emergency Injunctive Relief] 07/18/2014
PB-CO-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: State Court Website
Order of Court 10/07/2014
PB-CO-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Crabtree, Charles Scott (State Trial Court)
PB-CO-0005-0002 | PB-CO-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers McHugh, John M. (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-9000
Ogden, Ralph (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-0001 | PB-CO-0005-9000
Russell, Thomas (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-0001
Wilcox, M. Anne (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Figa, Benjamin Todd (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-9000
Francisco, Michael Lee (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-9000
Miller, Heidi Michelle (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-9000
Shea, Wendy Jean (Colorado)
PB-CO-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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